Agartala: The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) has sounded a high alert about the presence of international terrorist outfits, especially Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), and their plans to make permanent bases in Tripura, Assam and West Bengal, all of which share long international borders with neighbouring Bangladesh.
In a gazette notification issued by the MHA on Thursday, joint secretary Piyush Goyal said, “…investigations have… revealed JMB’s plan of making permanent bases within 10 kilometres along the Indo-Bangladesh border in the districts of states of West Bengal, Assam and Tripura and plans of spreading its network in south India with an overarching motive to establish a caliphate in the Indian sub-continent”.
The notification has also added Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh or Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Indian or Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Hindustan and all its manifestations in the list of 41 terror organisations already banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
JMB came into existence in 1998 with the objective of establishing a caliphate through ‘jihad’. JMB and its sister formations like Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Hindustan have committed acts of terrorism, promoted acts of terrorism and have been engaged in radicalisation and recruitment of youths for terrorist activities in India. The terror outfit was also found involved in recruitment and raising funds for terrorist activities, procurement of explosives, chemicals and assembling of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED).
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) earlier confirmed involvement of JMB cadres in Burdwan bomb blasts on October 02, 2014 and Bodh Gaya blasts on January 19, 2018. Subsequently, Assam Police found involvement of JMB in five cases and 565 JMB suspects were arrested by them.
Earlier in January this year, the MHA added Al-Qaida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), ISIS Wilayat Khorasan, Islamic State of Iraq, Sham-Khorasan (ISIS-K) and the Khalistan Liberation Force among the list of terrorist organisations banned under UAPA.
Later in March, one Nazir Sheikh was arrested from his rented residence at Arundhatinagar in Agartala based on a tip-off. Sheikh was accused of being associated with JMB and was said to have been involved with several terror activities inside India.
He was grilled by a joint team of National Investigation Agency (NIA) sleuths, military intelligence and officials of Tripura Police’s special branch. DGP Akhil Kumar Shukla later confirmed that Sheikh hailed from Murshidabad district of West Bengal and was trained in improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The official also said Sheikh had links with other outfits involved with terror activities in India.
Tripura shares a 856-km long international border with Bangladesh, a few patches of which are still unfenced.